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CRICKET: Taylor focused on making impact in first-class game
Matt Taylor is determined to build on a promising season that culminated in his first-class debut for Gloucestershire.
The 19-year-old left-arm seamer, from Great Tew, has made steady progress since signing a full-time contract with the county last year.
Taylor made his first-class bow against Leicestershire on September 3 before playing in Gloucestershire’s final two LV= County Championship matches of the season.
And the former Oxfordshire and Great & Little Tew player was presented with his county cap at Gloucestershire’s end-of-season awards.
“Coming back into pre-season, I was just looking to feature in a few first-team games,” said Taylor.
“At the end, it was great to make my first-class debut.
“Now I want to fight for a regular place in the first team, whether that’s in Twenty20 or four-day matches.
“The big ambition in the future is to play for England.”
Taylor had fast bowling coaching with Gloucestershire when he was 14 and worked his way up through their academy structure, making his 2nd XI debut in 2010 aged 16.
A year later, he made his first-team bow for Gloucestershire in the Clydesdale Bank 40 competition alongside brother Jack.
“It was always my aim to try and get a contract and just build on that,” said Taylor.
The Taylors’ time playing together was restricted this summer with Jack, 21, out of action since May after being reported twice for illegal bowling action.
But they hope to team up again in 2014 if off-spinner Jack gets the all-clear on his remodelled action.
“We have played quite a few games together for Gloucestershire previously,” said Matt. “He was there when I made my first-class debut, which was great.”
The younger Taylor feels his all-round game has improved after a first season of professional cricket.
He added: “I have gained a lot of experience and learnt what to do at certain times in games.”
Taylor will be doing indoor training and gym work at Gloucestershire’s Bristol base until Christmas, but may consider another overseas trip in the new year.
Last winter he played for Havelock North in Napier, New Zealand, and got to bowl at England’s touring bastmen in the nets.
“New Zealand was a great experience cricket-wise and in many other ways,” said Taylor.
Having bowled captain Alastair Cook and rearranged Jonny Bair-stow’s stumps in the nets, Taylor would love to emulate them one day.
“It is great to have that ambition, but there is a long way to go,” he said.
“I was delighted to make my first-class debut and will keep working hard to go beyond that.”